Fossils, Gemstones and other interesting sites in canberra

Peter Holland 17 July 2008 31

After putting in a few comments about lapidary (does not involve dancing) or as we like to be known, Rock Hounds, I was wondering if there were any sites that people know about in the Canberra region? Fossils have been mentioned in the Mugga Lane Zoo post, but what else is there around here? I know of several sites for rubies (bredbo) Sapphires (wee jasper) and Opal (not precious), but are there any other sites that you know of or would like to find out more about this hobby?

Drives away the winter blues, cutting stone takes concentration, but the results are well worth it.


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31 Responses to Fossils, Gemstones and other interesting sites in canberra
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TAGG TAGG 7:53 am 25 Feb 12

Does anyone know of a place close to Canberra that I can take the kids looking for thunder eggs ? We are prepared to travel for a weekend away.

Cheers in anticipation.

peterh peterh 10:14 am 02 Oct 08

S4anta said :

Ant,

Try a handdrill (one the ones you have to use human power to spin) you tend to get good control over what you are doing. As for holding it in place, anything usually will suffice, just wrap the target in a teatowel or old shirt so it doesnt get scored by the vice or whatever.

there are felt covers for vices, as well as jeweller’s vices which can be picked up at the gem show – the dealers will all be there. in regards to drilling a hole through a piece of stone, hand drills take forever. diamond drills (that sound like the one in the dentist) and a water drip will ensure that the stone doesn’t split or shatter.

ask the dealers for more info – they are only too happy to help. Alternatively, ask someone at the Lapidary club.

S4anta S4anta 9:26 am 02 Oct 08

Ant,

Try a handdrill (one the ones you have to use human power to spin) you tend to get good control over what you are doing. As for holding it in place, anything usually will suffice, just wrap the target in a teatowel or old shirt so it doesnt get scored by the vice or whatever.

peterh peterh 9:18 am 02 Oct 08

ferlin said :

Hello,

I just arrived in Canberra from France. I am looking for people to go fossicking with. I prefer to meet people and share good moments of searching (and finding !) than going by my own.

So, contact me !

ferlin, give the ACT lapidary club a call. in the whitepages. They run regular trips locally for members and interested parties.

ferlin ferlin 8:45 pm 01 Oct 08

Hello,

I just arrived in Canberra from France. I am looking for people to go fossicking with. I prefer to meet people and share good moments of searching (and finding !) than going by my own.

So, contact me !

peterh peterh 1:41 pm 18 Jul 08

ant said :

Woolshed Creek fossils are from teh same reef/source as my fossil! And yes, they’re there. Tehy put chicken wire over them many years ago. They stick up out of the creek bed.

Thanks, Peter@home, I’ll check that out. The flaws thing is interesting, didn’t consider that.

aah. 3-post nutbag time…

Ant,

Just had a thought, if you don’t want to risk drilling a hole in the rocks you have, the club may have someone who can show you setting techniques or recommend a good jeweler that the club uses for settings. usually the jewelers that they recommend are very good value, and charge you for minimal labor / cost of materials.

I am an ex jewellery apprentice, so i do most of my own silver settings. (doesn’t mean I won’t ask the jewellers I know for help when I need it)

peterh peterh 1:35 pm 18 Jul 08

what about canberra region? anyone got any other sites for gemstones?

peterh peterh 12:17 pm 18 Jul 08

PBO said :

In Wee jasper there are some places that you do not need to ask, however it is recommended that you ask the property owner lest they mistake you for a revenueer and try to shoot you.

there are a couple of sites near wee jasper where the property owner will point blank say no – this is due to a group of ferals who ripped up the ground looking for crystals, then left their rubbish lying around, after they left.

I have found some good examples of quartz crystals out there, but only after meeting with the property owner on the particular site and assuring him that it would be left as i found it, holes filled in, rubbish removed. If you show them that you will tidy up after yourself, they will usually be ok, but it is a shame that they have been ignored by others, and are now off-side from the beginning.

Loose Brown Loose Brown 11:40 am 18 Jul 08

I too have unearthed a fossil of a cluster of seashells, each about as big as my thumb, from a hole in the backyard in Dickson.

Amazing to think it was once under the sea.

PBO PBO 11:38 am 18 Jul 08

Yup, it stings a bit. But if you get too close to their Moonshine stills those mountain folk fire up.

Thumper Thumper 11:35 am 18 Jul 08

Being shot is not a good thing 😉

PBO PBO 11:34 am 18 Jul 08

In Wee jasper there are some places that you do not need to ask, however it is recommended that you ask the property owner lest they mistake you for a revenueer and try to shoot you.

Thumper Thumper 11:27 am 18 Jul 08

Im sure places out near Wee jasper are fine.

And just about every beach down the south coast that has a tidal estuary will have a midden at it northern end. most are not protected because no-one could be bothered digging them up.

What about places like Gibraltar Falls? Shoalhaven River where the Kings highway crosses it?

I’m not sure of the law with regard to non protected sites. I guess it comes down to who owns the land?

peterh peterh 11:21 am 18 Jul 08

Thumper said :

I don’t. And I said protected sites. There is a difference you realise?

however it sounds as if you advocate removing material from protected cultural sites?

I surely hope not.

aaargh!

what I meant is, do you know of any places that you can go to to find fossils, gemstones or just pretty rocks that won’t have an impact on any known cultural sites, understanding that some may or may not be protected, so that there will not be a case where we hear of someone taking a jackhammer to a particularly good example of australian pre-history?

lets forget the fossils. what about gemstone sites?

Thumper Thumper 11:13 am 18 Jul 08

I don’t. And I said protected sites. There is a difference you realise?

however it sounds as if you advocate removing material from protected cultural sites?

I surely hope not.

peterh peterh 11:05 am 18 Jul 08

Thumper said :

That’s a rather irrelevant question as any protected cultural site can be damaged given there is no physical security.

Remember I am talking protected sites, not just good sites to fossick or dig up the odd fossil.

And if it is protected then frankly no-one should be removing cultural material.

humor me. what sites do you know of that are good to fossick or dig up the odd fossil, and don’t impact any cultural sites?

Thumper Thumper 10:49 am 18 Jul 08

That’s a rather irrelevant question as any protected cultural site can be damaged given there is no physical security.

Remember I am talking protected sites, not just good sites to fossick or dig up the odd fossil.

And if it is protected then frankly no-one should be removing cultural material.

peterh peterh 10:43 am 18 Jul 08

Thumper said :

Nah, I was just pointing some things out 😉

I’d hate to see sites ruined by over zealous collectors.

Not that I think anyone here would be over zealous.

okay thumper, what sites are you aware of that people can go to and collect “samples” without damaging potential cultural heritage sites?

I am not over zealous, I only have 1 shed full of rocks for cutting.

Thumper Thumper 10:30 am 18 Jul 08

Nah, I was just pointing some things out 😉

I’d hate to see sites ruined by over zealous collectors.

Not that I think anyone here would be over zealous.

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 10:26 am 18 Jul 08

Is this going to be a long-argument between Thumper and peterh about on-paper protection for cultural heritage versus actual physical security of the sites?

Lets skip a few pages here, children.

When fighting against a non-zero chance to make a successful assault on a target and an infinite timeframe, the defender always loses. It just becomes a question how long until they lose, unless you’re willing to escalate the game to the point that attackers no longer bother.

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